Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Hai D3 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates by ibda design
May 21st, 2018 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: ibda design
Hai d3 is a mixed-use community that serves as headquarters to the Dubai Design District, the hub for emerging local creative talent in the UAE.
With the need for a temporary facility to host community projects and events, it was crucial for the Hai d3 development to be flexible and able to accommodate quick assembly and disassembly in a sustainable manner. Integrating traditional Arabic neighbourhood planning into the design, the architecture was composed as a modular system, using 40-foot shopping containers in a stacking and layout arrangement.
The shipping containers offered a building element that was very suitable to the history of the city. Given that Dubai is a port city with an urban fabric of transience and change, the containers were considered as items that have traveled all over the world, each carrying a history and energy embedded within them. Ultimately, they were collected into a single project to converse amongst each other, serving as the background for a contemporary Arabic neighbourhood. The project offers a contemporary fiction of the historical Middle Eastern city, reinterpreting the essence of expansion and contraction of its pathways, and defined by vibrant, public spaces. By using a recycled, mass-produced product, the project intentionally preserves the raw, industrial form of the containers while re-imagining the Arabic urban fabric, today.
Throughout Hai d3, 75 containers are arranged, with six different stacking layouts according to programmatic use: workshop, library, cafe, art galleries, prayer rooms and retail spaces. Key to the project is the configuration of outdoor “pockets” of space, serving as courtyards for each building. Both the courtyards and landscape arrangements complement the industrial language of the architecture and promote activity within the naturally-lit spaces, offering a motivating and productive atmosphere. Integrated into the building interiors with full-height windows punctured into the shipping containers, the transparencies frame the outdoor landscape and views of the Dubai skyline. Additionally, these transparencies define a connection between the inside and outside, making the spaces flexible for both summer and winter temperatures.
The climate of the Middle East played a decisive role in the project, demanding an awareness of the site’s sunlight and requiring methods for temperature control. Passive cooling of the courtyard and landscape spaces occurs with containers acting as “wind towers”, strategically placed across the site. These wind towers distribute natural ventilation by catching high draft winds and funneling them towards the courtyards within the community. This modern spin on a traditional ventilation strategy provides an efficient and environmentally friendly method of cooling the Hai d3 outdoor areas, making them an inviting space for a revitalizing walk, creative mingling, and curated events. Additional program and aesthetic elements were implemented with 20-foot service containers. One of these additional containers acts as an entrance piece, welcoming people to the district and serving as a multi-functional venue for artists to host movie screenings, gatherings, and outdoor workshops.
The Hai d3 community uses flexible, modular forms in traditional Arabic arrangements, offering its users a platform for creative productivity. Once gathered, visitors can embrace the dynamism of their work, and in turn, use Hai d3 as a foundation for propelling the creative industry of the Middle East.
Contact ibda design